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Community to get involved with next stage of work in managing coastline at Hemsby and Winterton

THE COMMUNITY is invited to a drop-in session at Hemsby, on Thursday, April 12, from 2pm to 7pm, to participate in the next important stage of work in managing the dynamic coastline in the area.

Over a number of years, Great Yarmouth Borough Council has worked closely with the Hemsby community and agencies, providing expert advice and guidance to assist the community-led trial defence scheme.

As the next stage of that journey, the borough council is prioritising Hemsby as the initial phase of a study about how best to manage the coastline between Winterton-on-Sea and Great Yarmouth.

This initial phase, funded through the Environment Agency, focuses on Hemsby and Winterton, with the community helping to identify and consider a range of options for Hemsby and also consider the risks associated with coastal change at Winterton.

People are invited to take part by attending a drop-in session at Hemsby Village Hall, in Waters Lane, where they will be able to share first-hand local information about how the coastline has changed in the past and their aspirations for the future.

This community information, together with new site inspections of the cliffs, dunes and defences, will be used by coastal management experts to help consider a range of possible approaches, as well as to support conversations with the Government, other funders and agencies.

Each approach will then be assessed, looking at whether it would be suitable and effective, and the possible impacts on future change at Hemsby and along this coastline. The existing trial defence scheme at Hemsby will be considered as one option, and the learning so far from this will play an important part in the study.

The study will then look at the possible costs of the options that are considered viable for Hemsby, and a draft report will be ready in around two months, which will be shared with the community as part of a public consultation. Management options for the Winterton frontage will be considered as a later phase.

Cllr Carl Smith, deputy council leader, said: "We have seen some heart-breaking scenes at Hemsby and our sympathies and support remain with the affected residents. It is clear that the sea is Hemsby's greatest asset but also its greatest risk. 

"The coastline here is very dynamic and the challenges are not solely financial and technical. Any intervention for the cliffs at Hemsby will have impacts for the beach and wider coastline, upon which communities rely, so identifying a pragmatic approach that balances needs and satisfies communities and agencies like Natural England is vital.

"The community-led trial scheme we've been supporting has started Hemsby on that important journey, and provided valuable evidence to support the next stage of work, which has been accelerated following recent events. 

"Managing Britain's coastline is a national issue and we hope that lots of people will attend the drop-in to share their information and views, which will support the development of options and our continued conversations with Government departments, local MP, landowner and other partners."

Last modified on 19 July 2023

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